The federal portion of Canada’s cannabis excise duty amounted to 32 million Canadian dollars ($23.7 million) from April 2019 through March 2020, according to new figures from the country’s finance department.
Although the cannabis tax revenue represents only a tiny fraction of the Canadian government’s total revenues for the period (CA$334.3 billion), it illustrates growth in Canada’s marijuana tax proceeds.
Canada’s cannabis excise taxes are collected by the federal government, which keeps 25% and shares the remaining 75% with provincial governments.
In May, the province of British Columbia reported record cannabis excise tax revenue of $2.5 million for December, boosted by new legal cannabis stores opening in the province.
Excise tax payments are expected to rise as more stores open their doors across the country.
The excise tax is payable by licensed cannabis producers when product is delivered to a purchase – usually to provincial wholesalers.
On top of the excise tax, the Canadian government earns revenue from regular sales taxes on cannabis.
The government also charges a 2.3% annual regulatory fee on the annual revenues of standard cannabis license holders. The fee is meant to offset the cost of regulating cannabis production.
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s National Cannabis Working Group is asking the Canadian government to temporarily waive that fee for part of 2020 in order to support the country’s still-developing cannabis industry during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Health Canada is in a position to help the industry weather the impact of the crisis and position it for success afterward by providing license holders temporary relief by waiving payment of the 2.3% annual regulatory fee,” the group noted in a letter.